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Strongsville High School principal on rumors of threats: 'It's not true'

Principal Bill Wingler says parents should feel safe sending their kids to school.

STRONGSVILLE, Ohio — Fights, pepper spray, hospitalizations and threats. That's what we heard was happening this week at Strongsville High School, from a student.

It even prompted principal Bill Wingler to send a letter to the community. He received 180 emails back from concerned parents. Some were scared about sending their kids to school on Thursday.

"I stayed up until midnight and answered every single email," Wingler told us.

We went through the incidents one by one: Water spiked with laxatives causing hospitalizations? 

"No, never happened," Wingler said.

A student pepper sprayed in the hallway? 

"No, that's just not true," Wingler said. 

What really happened, according to Wingler, is that it was picked up and accidentally set off in an empty room by a student. The student reported the mishap immediately, Wingler said.

And the most serious? A school shooting threat rumor.

"None of that is true. There’s no credible threat," Wingler said. 

The shooting threat rumor got spiraled on social media.

"This is something that we take really seriously," Wingler said.

Police were called, but they found no evidence that the threat even existed. Still, a few extra officers were at school Thursday to make sure students felt safe, not because the school was concerned over safety.

One incident that was true? A handful of students vandalized some restrooms as part of the TikTok challenge "devious lick."

Less than five got in trouble. And, their parents will have to pay for the damages. But, Wingler says he isn't concerned that this will be an ongoing issue. He thanks the community for its swift response.

"My plea to the community has netted tips, names, videos," Wingler said of people turning in the culprits. "The other students are sick of this."

We talked to a few parents waiting in the long carline at the high school today. 

One parent chalked it up to "kid stuff."

Another said, "Parents, as a group, we know that this is a great high school."

And for the few students who didn't make it to school today over safety fears?

"We hope those who aren’t here today will come back tomorrow. Because this is a safe place," Wingler said.

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